Missile Mystery and More: Strange Sky Sightings

This image captured by a KCBS News helicopter shows an unidentified projectile launched from an unknown point in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Los Angeles Nov. 8, 2010. KCBS

A possible missile launch off the coast of Southern California Monday is the latest in a string of incidents this year where people looked up and, well, had absolutely no idea what they were looking at.

As NORAD confirms that a video shot by CBS affiliate KCBS showing an object shooting over the sky and leaving a large contrail is "no threat to our nation," let's take a look back at events of the last year that left those gazing upwards scratching their heads:

Manhattan UFOs

On the afternoon of Oct. 13, silvery objects floating over the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan prompted a flood of calls to police and the FAA.

Experts later determined that the floating objects were most likely party balloons that escaped from an engagement party in Westchester County, north of the city.

Even UFO experts were dismissive of the validity of the sighting.

"It had the flavor of a cluster of balloons, in my opinion," Peter Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center, a private research group based in Washington, told the New York Post.

Secret Robot Space Plane

In April, the United States Air Force's X-37B robotic space plane blasted off from Florida - but the mission remained a mystery.

The unmanned vehicle is expected to take months testing new spacecraft technologies.

The classified nature of the Air Force project caused some to speculate that it could signal the Sky Spiral in NorwayA failed Russian missile launch in December caused a spiral of white light visible in Norway that many citizens mistook for a UFO."It consisted initially of a green beam of light similar in color to the aurora with a mysterious rotating spiral at one end. This spiral then got bigger and bigger until it turned into a huge halo in the sky with the green beam extending down to Earth," Nick Banbury of Harstad told Spaceweather.com.

An iPhone in Space

In October, Brooklyn dad Luke Geissbuhler and his 7-year-old son Max sent a homemade satellite - an iPhone and a HD camera attached to a weather balloon - into space.

It traveled 19 miles above earth, where the balloon popped and sent it back to earth - slowed by a parachute. GPS and the camera's LED light helped them find it about 30 miles from the launch site.

Watch video of the story below:


  • Gina Pace

Comments